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Donald Dingley Bacon

March 11, 1932 ~ October 12, 2021 (age 89)


Donald Dingley Bacon of Somerset, New Jersey died peacefully at home on October 12, 2021, surrounded by his beloved children and his wife of 63 years.  He was 89 years old, and lived his life with enthusiasm, compassion, humility, integrity and kindness.

Born on March 11, 1932, in Medford, Massachusetts to Alvin Henry Bacon and Ruth Dingley Bacon, Donald was raised in Medford and later in Bowdoinham, Maine where he graduated from Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Maine.  After receiving a degree in metallurgical chemistry from the Franklin Institute in Boston he moved to New Jersey and embarked on a distinguished 44-year career at the fabled Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, before retiring as a Member of Technical Staff.

Donald Bacon was an avid outdoorsman, who cycled and ran, and who hiked and trekked in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and all along the East Coast, as well as in the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees mountains in Europe.  He was a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Murray Hill Canoe Club, and the Bell Labs Pioneers.  He completed the Appalachian Trail and was a member of the New Hampshire 4000 Footers Club.  He could also be described as a beach bum and instilled in his children a love of the beach and respect for the ocean, and could often be found at his favorite spot in Island Beach State Park. 

He was a committed and enthusiastic fan of the Boston Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and New England Patriots.  He filled his free time with Sudoku, crosswords, and jigsaw puzzles.   He served in the armed forces, and was a communicant of St. Matthias Church in Somerset.

Early in his career he met a colleague, Margaret Abel, whom he married on August 29, 1958, in Piscataway, New Jersey.  Together they raised four children, Susan DiStefano (Tony), Cynthia (Michael), James (Martina) and Carol Lee.   Donald was an extraordinary father who provided his children with unconditional love and all of life’s needs; who coached their teams, attended their sport meets, recitals and school events, showed them the world, taught them to love mountain climbing and nature, put them through college and selflessly supported their dreams.  He would say that his greatest joy in life was that his children always came home.  That joy expanded with the arrival of his grandchildren, Dana DiStefano, Ellen Bacon Parrinello (Joseph), Daniel Bacon, Claudia Latjar-Bacon and Adam Bacon.  Donald Bacon is survived by them all, and his wife Margaret.

The Bacon family thanks all those who offered prayers and provided support and comfort to him.  Specific gratitude is expressed to his physicians, Dr. Frederick Glatter, Dr. Edward White and Dr. David Campeus, who provided such compassionate care, as well as to the nurses at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and the staff at Holy Redeemer Home Care and Hospice.  

In lieu of flowers, please spend a day hiking with friends and family in his memory, or consider a donation to the Appalachian Mountain Club, 10 City Square, Boston, MA 02129 or via their website at

Friends may visit the family on Friday, October 15 from 4:00-7:00pm at the Sheenan Funeral Home, 233 Dunellen Ave in Dunellen. A funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, October 16, at 10:30AM at St. Matthias Catholic Church, 168 John F. Kennedy Blvd in Somerset, NJ. Cremation will be held privately.  A private burial will take place in Bowdoinham, Maine. 



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October 15, 2021

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sheenan Funeral Home
233 Dunellen Avenue
Dunellen, NJ 08812

Funeral Mass
October 16, 2021

10:30 AM
St. Matthias Catholic Church (Somerset)

Private Cremation

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